For the second time this season, the Mavericks face the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. Despite missing both Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut during their previous match, the Mavs managed to stick with the Blazers for most of the game, even leading briefly, but they ultimately couldn’t outpace Damian Lillard’s hot scoring night. Here are three things to watch for as they try to even the score.
Lillard had a season high 42 points against the Mavericks back in November, making five of his six three-point attempts. Even if he doesn’t match that performance, he’s still a dangerous scoring threat the Mavericks will have to find a way to contain. He’s Portland’s leading scorer and has averaged over 27 points per game.
The Mavericks’ nearing full capacity
Dirk Nowitzki has been upgraded to questionable for tonight’s game, and JJ Barea made his debut in Monday’s game against the Nuggets. Although they’ll still be missing Bogut, the Mavericks are finally getting players back and starting to rack up more wins. The Blazers were able to take advantage of the hole Bogut left in the Mavs’ defense last time, and they almost certainly will again, but especially if Dirk is able to return, the Mavs will be in a position to build on some good wins they’ve gotten in the last few weeks.
Barea in particular could play a huge role in getting the Mavs another win. He only played 13 minutes against the Nuggets, but he managed 11 points, three rebounds, and four assists during his time on the court.
How to watch
Tonight’s game tips off at 9:00pm Central and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest or on NBA TV.